Restez tranquille mes amis. It can’t be true. However, a new survey circulated by the French magazine, Madame Le Figaro, and the BBC’s food magazine, Olive, appears to give the British the victory in home cuisine. That is, the 3,350 respondents (2,000 French) reported that 50% of the British cooks spend over 30 minutes preparing a meal, while only 25% of the French cooks take that long.
Further, one respondent sniped at French food for being too “traditional”, citing satueed veal, wild boar stew, cannelloni with cheese (that’s French??) as examples.
Picture this: You live in Picardy, Paris, Rouen, Lyons, Bordeaux, Provence, the small towns near the Camargue (and so on). It’s lunch time – it’s dinner time. Cook or go out? Stroll the boulevards and sample that “traditional” cuisine? Stay at home and work in the kitchen?
Putting aside the amazing quality of Indian and Pakistani food available in London, would you stop for boiled cabbage? steamed mutton? tatties and neeps? bubble and squeak?
I say the Brits cook more in pure self-defense, if, in fact they do. It’s also possible that the true French domestic cooks are cooking, not filling out silly polls.
However, perhaps the best approach would be to make lots of friends in France, explain that you are on a scientific quest to defend the honor of French cuisine, and show them how they can help, with you standing by to time the effort, sample the food, and document the results.
Just a thought as the weekend nears here (and is already there, there. Am I channeling Gertrude Stein? It’s definitely time to go to France!)